Why An Arkham Asylum Prequel Announcement Is (Possibly) Close
Warner Brothers have recently registered a ton of new URL’s relating to the word “Arkham”. Titles include: Arkham Origins, Arkham Begins, Arkham Universe, Arkham Legends and the rather clunky sounding Barman Arkham Arises.
If you remember last year there was a widely circulated rumour that the next Arkham game would be a prequel. Furthermore it was stated that the game was inspired by the Silver Age of comics (I wrote an article back then about what that means). Some people have suggested that the name registrations might just be house cleaning to protect their IP. Sounds plausible but I don’t buy it considering the name choices (more on that in a moment). There’s another rumour it’s related to the next movie, I don’t believe that either since I doubt they even have a script yet.
If you cast you recollection back even further you’ll remember in 2010 it was discovered WB had registered a bunch of domains. URLs included Batman New Arkham, Batman Broken Ground and, of course, Batman Arkham City.
So basically all this happened before, and one month later it turned out it was all for Arkham City. Therefore if history is indeed repeating itself then these registrations are for the next Arkham game. Further evidence is that the prequel rumours and the name registrations even match up. Arkham Begins or Arkham Origins sound like a pretty solid titles for a prequel to me. In 2010 the name registrations all related to sequels in some form, so it’s quite a coincidence that they’re choosing to trademark prequel titles now when the rumours indicate that’s just what they’re making. Another interesting note is Paul Dini has stated he is not working on a new Batman game. Considering his writing was highly praised I don’t see why they’d neglect to bring him back in, unless of course the new game does indeed have a new Silver Age tone. So that’s one more piece of evidence matching the rumour.
All in all this is just too much evidence for me to come to any other conclusion. I believe we’re approaching an announcement for an Arkham prequel. What makes it more exciting is that any Xbox/PlayStation game revealed from now on is certainly for next-gen systems, so this may be the first next gen comic book game. Originally I therefore figured we’d probably see this game announced at E3, but new rumours have surfaced that Microsoft and Sony will début their new consoles shortly before GDC in March. I think this could very well be the case, as with video games now much bigger in the public eye than years past the news would dominate all outlets regardless. Then at E3 the focus could be on the holiday season lineup. So what would that mean for Arkham? Well, it means this new game could be announced as soon as March. A potential move by WB may be to tease the game alongside the announcement of the consoles to drum up anticipation, then show off the game at E3 when everyone’s attention will be on what’s coming soon. Whether that’s what they’ll do or whether there’s still a while to go until we get answers we’ll just have to wait and see.